Title: Ten (The Winnie Years)
Author: Lauren Myracle
Publisher: Dutton Children’s Books
Publication Date: May 2011
Genre/Format: Novel/Realistic Fiction
Summary: Winnie chronicles each month of her year as a ten-year-old. With earnest humor, Winnie tells of how she deals with growing up while still trying to be true to who she is.
What I Think: I'm already a huge fan of Lauren Myracle but I am even more in love with her after reading this book. Winnie is such a great character. She's so much fun...she's basically me as a ten-year-old, or at least how I picture myself when I remember what I was like at ten. I identify so closely with the author's voice in this book and I think it is a great example of voice because you can really hear and visualize who Winnie is from the narration that Lauren Myracle has written. Just imagine reading the following snatch of text with a monotonous-Ben-Stein-like voice and then reading it with a more realistic 10-year-old voice. Don't you think kids would get it?
Besides being a great example of voice, I think girls are going to really relate to Winnie and what she goes through in her tenth year. An extra bonus is that the series continues and readers can grow up with Winnie. Love it!
One more thing! Each chapter is another month during the year and you could really choose one month to share with students as a short story apart from the entire book. Some chapters would work better than others to be able to do this, it just depends on what you are trying to show.
Read Together: 4 - 6
Read Alone: 4 - 8
Read With: Other books in the series by Lauren Myracle: Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Thirteen Plus One , The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. by Judy Blume, Absolutely Normal Chaos by Sharon Creech, Moving Day (Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls, Book 1) and others in the series by Meg Cabot, The Baby-Sitters Club #1: Kristy's Great Idea and others in the series by Ann M. Martin - also the graphic novels by Raina Telgemeier, Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Snatch of Text:
“The thing about birthdays is that they are shiny and sparkly and make the birthday girl feel special, no matter what. Today I was the birthday girl! As of today, I was ten years old. As of today – oh my goodness gravy – I, Winnie Perry, was living in the Land of Double Digits.
It was a sparkly land, the Land of D-Squared. The air shimmered, making the faces of my sister and brother glow. The smell of breakfast filled my nostrils. Somewhere, unicorns frolicked. Maybe they were invisible, fine. But they frolicked anyway.
And even though today was a Wednesday, and my party wasn’t until the weekend, I still felt special. Specialer, even, because this way I’d get to have two days that were all about me – today and the day of my party! I didn’t have to feel guilty, either, because Ty and Sandra would get special attention on their own birthdays. Everybody in the whole wide world had a birthday, so it was totally fair.” (p. 1)
“I fought not to let a grin sneak out. Sandra wasn’t being mean. She was just trying to be funny. And she was funny. But if I laughed, she’d be way to pleased with herself, and her head would puff up like the marshmallows Ty liked to microwave. And those marshmallows were jumbo-sized to begin with.
Ty’s marshmallows grew and grew and GREW as they spun around in the microwave. They grew until they were trembling white blobs, and then they exploded, splattering the walls of the microwave with sugary glue. Every so often one didn’t explode, and on those occasions, the marshmallow said pluh in a sad marshmallows way and deflated. Pluhhhhhhhhhhh, until after all that was left was a sad, flat marshmallow puddle.” (p. 6)
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Visulizing
Writing Strategies to Practice: Descriptive, Personal Narrative, Similes, Characterization, Voice
Writing Prompts: Write about your favorite birthday memory. Go back and read your draft about your favorite memory and add more description like Winnie uses. Try to think of an unlikely comparison and expand the idea.
Topics Covered: Family, Friends, Loyalty, Growing Up, Responsibility, School
Translated to Spanish: No